Sometimes playing as a mere mortal just isn't awesome enough. Some games are content to give the player godlike power over their worlds, or a nigh-omniscient perspective, but others make no bones about it and say "A God Is You!"
This is a gaming trope that comes in two flavors:
- Flavor A - The main character of the game is a god or powerful spirit, facing down godly threats, on a quest to reclaim their power or leading their civilization to glory.
- Flavor B - The game breaks the fourth wall by casting you the player as a (or the) god.
Surprisingly, this is not always an alternative to An Adventurer Is You. As it's a common revelation in the Tomato Surprise and can be a literal Deus Ex Machina, you might need to watch out for spoilers below.
Games featuring this often have the potential to have ridiculously extreme Video Game Cruelty Potential.
Not to be confused with the Andrew Greeley novel God Game, which is about how one such game suddenly became so much more.
- Nobilis, where you start out capable of destroying the world and only go up.
- Scion, where the player characters are "merely" children of the gods to start with, but can eventually become a mighty pantheon.
- Similarly, divinity is one of the possible "Epic Destinies" for characters in Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons.
- Though you don't get to actually play the character as a god (or, at least, there aren't any rules for it).
- An older edition had the "Immortals Rules", which are exactly that, although the word "god" was never uttered to keep things PC
- Deities and Demigods, provided two things: stats for the D&D pantheon and various historical pantheons (Greek, Egyptian, Norse), and rules for building your own deities. Along with suggestions for how to get your PC party into godhood/keep the game running afterwards.
- Exalted, wherein you play already heroic mortals granted power by the gods to become veritable divinities in their own right. Or corrupted versions of these divine champions that serve Eldritch Abominations. Or The Fair Folk, who in this world are more than powerful enough to qualify for the trope. Or, if you feel like dying, ordinary mortals.
- Infernals can eventually evolve into new Primordials. As in, the beings that created the gods.
- The Whispering Vault: player characters are godlike beings right from the start.
- Genius: The Transgression, a fan-written New World of Darkness game about playing mad scientists. Letting characters become powerful enough to change history or conquer the world was a deliberate design goal.
- Amber Diceless, which is based on the Book of Amber novels. Basic PCs come in two flavors (Princes of Amber and Lords of Chaos), each of which can use their special power (the Pattern and the Logrus, respectively) to essentially create Alternate Dimensions at their pleasure and shape and outfit them how they choose. The corebook notes repeatedly that spending creation points on personalized weapons, servitor creatures, and even private dimensions for your character is a luxury (it ensures that the character will always be guaranteed access to them), and that the characters can just create or find whatever they want for themselves once the game actually begins.
- Too Human
- The game of The Darkness might qualify, since you're a vessel for the titular Darkness, the manifestation of the very soul of evil. So you're a DARK god, but still a god... And no, Dark Is Not Evil is not present.
- God of War: Specifically the second, which takes place after the hero has overthrown Ares and taken his place. He ends up having to regain his lost power, however.
- Godzilla Unleashed lets you play as Mothra (who is worshiped as a goddess on her home island).
- In the PlayStation 2 version of the game, you can also play as Battra who is something along the lines of a God of Destruction in the Godzilla films and is Mothra's Evil Twin.
- Likewise, the Wii version of the game allows you to play as King Seesar. A guardian god-like monster that's loosely based off of the Shisa of Okinawa folklore.
- Both versions of the game allow you to play as King Ghidorah and Baragon as well. Mothra, King Ghidorah, and Baragon were gods/guardian monsters in the film GMK.
- To say nothing of GOD-zilla himself. And Megalon was the god of the Seatopians...
- For that matter, you can play as Mothra in both NES Godzilla games, and most Godzilla games in general.
- Okami casts you as Amaterasu, the Shinto goddess of the sun. Not only do you kill monsters and fight an Eldritch Abomination, you also make plants come back to life and grow, and answer the smaller and larger prayers of all kinds of people you meet on your way. Most don't suspect that a white dog has anything to do with it, but hearing them praising the sun and making offerings to show their gratitude really makes you feel good.
- Populous, an example of the "leading your civilization to glory" variant. This might more properly be a case of flavor B, though.
- In Summoner 2, you are the Child of Prophecy, the Divine Queen, and about as close to being a goddess as you can get without living in Heaven. You rule a kingdom, have your own temple, and people build huge statues in your honor. You also have some wicked powers, of course...
- Heck, the ORIGINAL Summoner revealed that you're 1/9th of a dead god.
- In Terranigma, "Light Gaia" and "Dark Gaia" are powerful other forces that will eventually be corrupted into being called "God" and "Satan", but nonetheless, Ark is told that he is what mortals would call a god.
- Every "major" character in Valkyrie Profile either starts out as a god of some kind, or becomes one when Lenneth Valkyrie picks them up to be her einherjar (they even get their goodhood ranked), except for the character Celia, which is by some regarded as having the saddest storyline because of the fact that she doesn't die, everyone else does and she's left alone.
- The main idea of the Dominions series.
- In Darkspore, the player character is a Crogenitor, a Precursor who's spent the last millenium in cryosleep. This may be a mixture of both types, though.
- Both Drawn to Life games make you a god, namely, the Creator.
- The original Spore also qualifies as this if you've been in the space stage for awhile. Destroy a planet? Easy. Create life? Done. Turn a dead rock into a lush planetary oasis? Yep.
- Sim Earth put the player in the role of Gaia. If you think it sounds like a hard job, you're right.
- Dwarf Fortress Adventurer Mode offers type B, as one of the chargen options is 'Demigod', and you have the potential to achieve a worshipped reputation over the course of the game.
- Darksiders has you play as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse (War in the first game, Death in the second). Even Heaven and Hell are scared of the Horsemens' power.
- From Dust, which borrows heavily from Polynesian mythology, casts you as "The Breath", the guardian spirit of an island tribe who uses its ability to manipulate land and water to help the tribe recover its lost history.
- Doshin the Giant casts the player as a sun god who dies each evening, but is reincarnated the next morning.
- God of Thunder: You play as Thor. He doesn't seem to have particularly godlike powers, though.
- You have a sort of character in Black and White, but you never see it and supplicants address the screen directly.
- The other gods you see are points of light with a hand.
- Super Paper Mario uses this as a way to Lampshade the gameplay instructions. Mario doesn't know what all of this "Press A" business is, but the other characters assure him that the great being that watches over them all understands.
- This is the twist at the end of Panzer Dragoon Saga.
- EarthBound could be an example, at least according to our very own WMG page.
- The final boss is dealt the death-blow by the player him/herself, inflicting unreasonably high damage by the standard of that game. Definitely counts.
- A controller of The Sims' world is you!
- The Sims Medieval makes this explicit by having the player fill the role of "The Watcher," a deity that made the land and gently guides the hero characters to making either right or wrong decisions. There are even two religions based on you: Jacoban and Peteran. Jacobans believe that The Watcher is cruel, while Peterans believe that The Watcher is benevolent.
- In Patapon, you're the god of the Patapons, called the Almighty.
- In Drawn to Life, you are the Creator, a god who drew the entire world, and brought life. In actual gameplay, your godly duties are basically drawing things when your Avatar retrieves pages of the Book of Creation. All the fighting is handled by the aforementioned Avatar; an animated mannequin.
- In the Civilization games, you're cast as the ruler of a civilization, but you stick around for however many millennia you feel like playing, remain in power through any and all revolutions, and have the power to manipulate any of your cities without having to route through whatever system of government you have in place at the moment. Democracy? Bureaucracy? Theocracy? Feudalism? This micromanaging god cares not.
- It's possible that you're not playing as that particular nation's leader per se, but rather the nation itself.
- Baten Kaitos has the player as a "Guardian Spirit" guiding the protagonists.
- The sequel uses the same principle. Before actually pulling a Tomato in the Mirror on the player, revealing you as part of the God of Darkness.
- The merest subtle nod to this in Baldur's Gate: one of Jaheira's selection quotes is "Yes, oh omnipresent authority figure?"
- At the extreme opposite is the insane Tiax with: "One day, Tiax will point and click."
- Similarly, Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil game has the characters directly acknowledge your commands. Again. And again. And ag- TOEE.exe has performed an illegal operation and must close.
- In Ever 17, it is all but stated that you are Blick Winkel, the 4th dimensional being who helps the protagonists at the end. While not technically a god, you are still a being of a higher dimension than the protagonists who can travel through time.
- Made even more obvious by the fact that "Blickwinkel" is the German word for "perspective".
- In the opening movie of Tak and the Power of Juju, Jibolba the shaman addresses the player as a "guardian Juju spirit" who was summoned to guide The Chosen One.
- In MARDEK RPG 3, when complimented by the king at one point on a job well done, Mardek smilingly replies, "I can only move at the will of my unseen master!
- Dissidia Final Fantasy refers to the player as "The Great Will," and the driving force behind everything.
- Implied in the first series of Dawn of War games, as the units (barring the Necrons) seem to talk to the player as if they're even higher-ranked than their commanders, or if the commanders themselves are referring to someone higher ranked than them. And the bad guy units even talk back to the user.
- Dwarf Fortress Fortress Mode—popular speculation is that the player is Armok, God of Blood.
- The "Virtual Villagers" series of games has always done this to a certain extent, with villagers engaging in festivals to honor the "Guiding Hand," a reference to the hand-shaped cursor. The fifth game, "New Believers," takes this one step further, giving the player godlike powers that they earn by building their "god points"